Study Guide

Field 124: Middle Level English 
Sample Selected-Response Questions

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General Test Directions

This test consists of two sections: 1) a section with selected-response questions and 2) a constructed-response section.

Each question in the first section is a selected-response question with four answer choices. Read each question and answer choice carefully and choose the  start uppercase ONE end uppercase  best answer.

Try to answer all questions. Even if you are unsure of an answer, it is better to guess than not to answer a question at all. You will  start uppercase NOT end uppercase  be penalized for guessing.

The second section of this test consists of one constructed-response assignment. You will be asked to provide a written response to the assignment. Directions for completing your written response to the constructed-response assignment appear immediately before the assignment.

You may  start uppercase NOT end uppercase  use any type of calculator or reference materials during the test session.

Sample Selected-Response Questions

Competency 0001 
Apply knowledge of speaking strategies that inform and increase understanding.

1. A speaker wants to determine which of several technology tools would be most effective for clarifying information during an oral presentation. To make this determination, the speaker's  start italics first end italics  step should be to:

  1. enumerate and compare individual features of the technology tools.
  2. identify which technology tools enable instant audience feedback.
  3. examine recent industry and user reviews of the technology tools.
  4. view exemplary presentations that incorporate the technology tools.

correct response: d. effective speakers often use technology tools to highlight main points, link key concepts, support claims with data, and/or display content-relevant images. by viewing exemplary presentations that incorporate technology tools and evaluating the degree to which these tools clarify information, the speaker will have the best opportunity to determine which of several technology tools would most effectively help clarify information during the speaker's own presentation.

Competency 0004 
Apply knowledge of writing processes.

2.  start bold Read the excerpt below; then answer the question that follows.  end bold 

sentence 1Every year, millions of Mexican free-tailed bats migrate to the Selman Bat Cave Wildlife Management Area just south of Freedom, Oklahoma. sentence 2The area is accessible to the public only during Bat Watch evenings hosted by the Wildlife Department. sentence 3On such evenings, 75 lucky visitors look to the sky as one million bats fly overhead with amazement. sentence 4Not just a tourist attraction, the bats help farmers and ranchers by consuming more than 20,000 pounds of insects each night.

Which of the following versions of sentences from the excerpt has been edited correctly to eliminate a misplaced or dangling modifier?

  1. Sentence 1: Just south of Freedom, Oklahoma, every year millions of Mexican free-tailed bats migrate to the Selman Bat Cave Wildlife Management Area.
  2. Sentence 2: The area is accessible only to the public during Bat Watch evenings hosted by the Wildlife Department.
  3. Sentence 3: On such evenings, 75 lucky visitors look to the sky with amazement as one million bats fly overhead.
  4. Sentence 4: By consuming more than 20,000 pounds of insects each night, the bats help local farmers and ranchers, not just a tourist attraction.

correct response: c. in the original version of sentence 3, the phrase "as one million bats fly overhead with amazement" could be understood as meaning that the bats are experiencing amazement. the sentence has been edited correctly to indicate that the visitors, not the bats, experience amazement.

Competency 0006 
Apply knowledge of techniques for writing narratives and informative texts.

3. A writer is developing a short story. Which of the following introductory paragraphs would most effectively engage readers' interest in events that will unfold later in the story?

  1. When Melissa walked into the classroom, the teacher told her to sit wherever she wanted. Melissa preferred assigned seating. She knew if she sat in the front row, the teacher would notice her, but the other kids would talk about her behind her back. If she sat in the back row, everyone would ignore her, including the teacher. She chose an empty desk in the middle row.
  2. While the teacher took attendance, Melissa surreptitiously studied her new classmates. Daphne answered "present" with a voice like cool rain on a summer day. Jeff yawned "here" into three sleepy syllables. Karen sat up straight and enunciated "present" clearly and crisply.
  3. Melissa gingerly opened the door to Room 117 and peered in. A teacher wearing a long lab coat observed as students, also in lab coats, poured green, orange, and blue liquids into test tubes. Purple clouds formed over the students' heads. "Close the door before it escapes!" someone shouted. Melissa jumped into the room and shut the door.
  4. The teacher asked Melissa to describe herself using an adjective that started with the first letter of her name. Melissa knew the teacher thought this was an original idea. It was not. Melissa had introduced herself to a classroom full of strangers many times, but she had yet to find the right word. She was not marvelous, mysterious, merry, or melancholic.

correct response: c. an effective technique for engaging readers' interest in events that will unfold later in a story is to raise questions that the reader expects to be answered later in the story. in this introductory paragraph, melissa at first acts with caution, "gingerly" opening the classroom door and peering in before entering. the reader does not know the reason for melissa's caution but expects to find out later. the reader's curiosity is piqued when a student shouts, "close the door before it escapes!" when melissa jumps into the room, the reader is eager to jump in with her.

Competency 0007 
Apply knowledge of strategies for writing persuasive texts and arguments.

4. A student is developing an argumentative essay in which the student will claim that travel is an enriching experience. Which of the following paragraphs should the student use in the essay to effectively distinguish this claim from an opposing viewpoint?

  1. There is a growing movement in favor of accumulating experiences rather than objects. Experiences are seen as superior to objects. Travel to another city, another country, another continent, and even another state of mind, is seen as the ultimate experience.
  2. A true traveler is always open to new experiences, even at home. Travelers are always searching for ways to broaden their horizons, even on a routine trip to the grocery store, where they are adventurous in their purchases and appetites.
  3. Exploring the world is all well and good, if you can afford it. While there are countless ways to see the world on a budget, it's impossible not to spend money when you travel. That's just the reality that savvy travelers must be prepared to deal with.
  4. Pack your bags  start italics and end italics  your wallets. Travel is enriching for the traveler and the economy of the locale that the traveler explores. Nothing is free in life, not even an enhanced worldview. But of course, it's impossible to put a price tag on the globe.

correct response: b. the student plans to make the claim that travel is an enriching experience. one potential opposing viewpoint is that many people have family and work responsibilities that prevent them from traveling any distance or for a significant amount of time. one way for the student to distinguish the claim from this opposing viewpoint is by extending the scope of the claim to include short-distance travel and everyday errands. the student addresses the opposing viewpoint by stating that a start italics true traveler end italics is someone who exercise his or her adventurous spirit, whether at home or on the other side of the world.

Competency 0008 
Apply knowledge of research techniques for acquiring, refining, and sharing knowledge.

5. A student is developing a research report on the health benefits of coffee. Which of the following sources would likely provide the most objective information on the topic?

  1. a newspaper article about research results published in a medical journal
  2. a social media site sponsored by a cooperative of organic coffee growers
  3. an open-source online encyclopedia entry recently updated by readers
  4. a blog that explores how coffee is produced and prepared around the world

correct response: a. research findings published in a medical journal would likely have undergone peer review, a rigorous process in which two or more experts on the topic of coffee's health benefits would have approved the results for publication. in addition, the reporter who wrote the newspaper article is bound by a journalistic ethics code to report the research results truthfully, accurately, impartially, and objectively. therefore, the newspaper article would provide the most objective information for the student's report.

Competency 0009 
Apply knowledge of strategies for developing vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension.

6. The medical term  start italics anemic end italics  is sometimes used metaphorically in other contexts to mean:

  1. deviating from the common rule.
  2. lacking definite form or structure.
  3. avoiding personal possessions.
  4. lacking vitality or spirit.

correct response: d. in the medical field, a person suffering from anemia, a blood disorder, often shows signs of having very low energy. therefore, the metaphoric sense of the word start italics anemic end italics is "lacking vitality or spirit."

Competency 0012 
Apply knowledge of the historical, social, cultural, and technological influences shaping the English language.

7. The words  start italics escalator, granola, thermos, end italics  and  start italics zipper end italics  are examples of words that first entered the English language as:

  1. regional slang.
  2. product trademarks.
  3. military acronyms.
  4. inventor surnames.

correct response: b. the words escalator left paren moving staircase right paren, granola left paren breakfast/snack food right paren, thermos left paren vacuum flask right paren, and zipper left paren clasp locker right paren were, at one time, legally protected trademarked products. they have lost their registered trademark status due to trademark abandonment, non-renewal, or because they are recognized as relevant products or services used by the public and commercial competitors.

 start bold Read the poem below; then answer the two questions that follow. end bold 

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought 
I summon up remembrance of things past, 
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought, 
And with old woes bewail my dear time's waste: 
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow, 
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night, 
And weep afresh love's long since cancelled woe, 
And moan th'expense of many a vanished sight: 
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone, 
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er 
The sad account of fore-bemoanéd moan, 
Which I new pay, as if not paid before. 
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, 
All losses are restored and sorrows end.

Competency 0013 
Apply knowledge of a range of genres of literary texts.

8. Which of the following phrases from this poem provides an example of assonance?

  1. "sweet silent thought"
  2. "death's dateless night"
  3. "love's long since cancelled woe"
  4. "fore-bemoanéd moan"

correct response: d. the poetic device known as assonance is the use of the same or similar vowel sounds in stressed syllables that end with different consonant sounds. the phrase "fore-bemoanéd moan," with its repeated long o sounds, exemplifies assonance.

Competency 0013 
Apply knowledge of a range of genres of literary texts.

9. In which of the following traditional forms is this poem written?

  1. sonnet
  2. ode
  3. ballad
  4. elegy

correct response: a. a sonnet generally consists of 14 lines written in iambic pentameter and has a very specific rhyme scheme. shakespearean sonnets, of which this poem is an example, consist of three quatrains and a couplet and have a rhyme scheme of a b a b, c d c d, e f e f, g g.

Competency 0014 
Apply knowledge of major themes, characteristics, writers, and works in literature from around the world.

10.  start bold Read the excerpt below from Blue Highways: A Journey into America, a memoir by William Least Heat-Moon; then answer the question that follows. end bold 

Stars shone with a clarity beyond anything I could remember. I was looking into—actually seeing—the past. By looking up into the darkness, I was looking into time. The old light from Betelgeuse, five hundred twenty light-years away, showed the star that existed when Christopher Columbus was a boy, and the Betelgeuse he saw was the one that burned when Northmen were crossing the Atlantic. For the Betelgeuse of this time, someone else will have to do the looking. The past is for the present, the present for the future.

Astronomers say that when telescopes of greater range can be built, ones that can look down the distant curves of the universe billions of light-years away, they might show existence at the time of creation. And if astrophysicists and countless American Indians are correct in believing that a human being is composed of exploded bits of heavenly matter, billions of galactic atoms, then astronomers may behold us all in the stellar winds; they may observe us when we were something else and very much farther away.

In this excerpt, Heat-Moon uses phrases such as "looking into" and "look down" in a figurative sense to express which of the following cultural attitudes?

  1. a conviction that self-knowledge brings inner peace
  2. a belief in the interconnectedness of humanity
  3. a recognition of sacrifices made by past generations
  4. a desire to explain the origin of human existence

correct response: b. in this excerpt, heat-moon describes how gazing at the night sky is like "looking into—actually seeing—the past," and "looking into time." the stars inspire in him a profound sense of interconnectedness with people and events from the past, present, and future. heat-moon speculates that a yet-to-be-built telescope will one day "look down the distant curves of the universe billions of light-years away" and confirm the belief that all humans originated as "billions of galactic atoms."


 start bold Items 8 & 9 end bold 

Shakespeare's "Sonnet 30."

 start bold Item 10 end bold 

From: BLUE HIGHWAYS by William Least Heat-Moon. Copyright 1982, 1999 by William Least Heat-Moon. By permission of Little, Brown and Company. All rights reserved.